Before and After Movement

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This is where I begin

I am feeling nervous, anxious, fluttery.  I feel not quite in myself, not quite here, not there either.  This is where I begin.  I notice I am here.  I write these words:  nervous, anxious, fluttery.  I draw a scribble of lines, try to get at the image of my feeling.  I set the paper aside.

I enter the movement space.

Now I enter the movement space.  I ring a bell and drop down to my knees.  I rest my forehead on the ground.  I stretch out my arms overhead.  Breath fills my abdomen and lower back.  I land here in this moment without agenda.  I feel grateful for the space and time to be with myself in this way and the freedom to play in whatever way I like.  

I roll on my back, lift my legs in the air and kick.  I feel my hip joints, my pelvis, the weight shifting on my back, my shoulders and arms wake up too.  My head rolls from side to side as I reach with one arm and then the other.  I roll from side to side: legs arms spine head pelvis breath.  

 

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I luxuriate in the smooth pleasurable transitions – my whole self awake in this moment.  I transition to my belly, arms stretched overhead.  My armpits open to the ground.  My head lifts.  My arms lift.  My legs lift.  I am flying.  I rock back and forth like this, one arm lifts and the other lowers, rolling onto one side then the other.  I flip to my back, my arms like angel wings sliding on the ground.  I hear the sound against the rug.  My hands interlace above my head and come down to rest on my belly.  

My fingers relax on my abdomen, rising and falling.  A quietness opens up in me.  Space.  My arms open out, palms up to the sky.  My fingers relax.  I feel my weight on the ground.  I don’t have to do anything.  There is no rush.  Here I am.

Here I am

I ring another bell, closing my movement time.  I check in with myself again.  Where am I now?  I write the words:  Here I am.  Blessed.  Present.  On the ground.  I draw the image of a body on the earth, arms wide open.  I paint a yellow background with blue rays of light coming off the page.  This is my experiment.

This is my experiment

I play with this experiment before and after Feldenkrais and Authentic movement lessons.  It is a way for me to track my experience of the transformations that occur through entering embodied experiences/explorations.  The experiment shows there is always a shift.  And regardless of where I begin there is a shift towards wholeness.

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This sketchbook is a record of these experiences.  In addition to drawing before, after and sometimes during movement experiences I have also been playing with revisiting the sketches of these experiments at another time to paint them.  In re-entering the sketch I reconnect newly with the impressions and states that emerged in the experiment and experience a sense of compassion and awe at these recordings.  Adding color and care to the pages folds in another layer of integration and helps remind me of the power, wisdom and magic of the body, play, creativity and awareness.

I so easily forget and the records remind me again and again to return to the practice of sinking into my sensation as a map to come home to myself.

This is an artist’s statement created as a part of the Sketchbook Project exhibited and archived at the Brooklyn Art Library, 2012.